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Gibson adds another string... Stanton Group
Gibson adds another string... Stanton Group
Posted by Gizmo on December 6, 2011 :

gibson Stanton KRK cerwin vega takeover

Stanton is a business that has been around longer than most in the DJ industry. But despite pushing boundaries with DVS and touch tech, it's fair to say that they've had mixed fortunes in recent years. Owners ML Capital put the Stanton Group up for sale almost a year ago, and to much surprise, guitar giants Gibson have been named as the new owners.

Here's the official word from Gibson:


Companies Join to Form New Entity—Gibson Pro Audio Division

Nashville, TN: As part of its continued expansion as a lifestyle brand, Gibson Guitar, the world's premier musical instrument manufacturer, today announced the creation of its pro audio division through the acquisition of the platform assets of the Stanton Group. One of the oldest, most widely recognized and respected designers and marketers of audio products, Stanton Group is comprised of KRK Systems, Cerwin-Vega! and Stanton DJ and makes superior products for consumers and professionals. Together, the companies will form Gibson Pro Audio division, which will be headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.

The closing of this acquisition marks Gibson's further expansion into the pro audio market with loudspeaker, monitor and electronics technology. In addition, Stanton Group gives Gibson the ability to leverage its existing research and development base.

"Right now we have an extremely powerful brand that people recognize and value, but the musical instrument category is inherently limited because people who purchase instruments also need to know how to play them," says Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar. "This new division is perfectly aligned with our core. It expands our reach to fellow music lovers and allows us access to 20 in 20 consumers instead of the one in 20 we currently hit."

Juszkiewicz adds, "Stanton produces some of the best pro audio equipment in the world and we're incredibly excited to be working with the very talented team at Stanton as we take Gibson into the future."

"We are very excited to be joining the Gibson family," says Timothy Dorwart, CEO of the Stanton Group. "This partnership will allow our brands and core management team to continue our growth and momentum in the marketplace within our shared channel while the association with the iconic Gibson brand gives us the opportunity to quickly expand our customer base.

Moreover, we bring technical resources that will enhance the R&D capabilities of both companies."

So what does this mean? As with any acquisition, there's likely to be some rationalisation and reorganisation going on, but hopefully Gibson's considerable resources can bring some much needed stability back to the brand. It can't have been easy operating under the cloud of uncertainty that being up for sale brings.

Being as old as I am, I do have a soft spot for Stanton. The venerable 500AL was my first cartridge, and they've made a consistent stream of good and groundbreaking products since. Some of this with hindsight has missed the target a tad, but it's a brand I believe in.

From a Gibson perspective, it brings pro audio into their portfolio, but they've also now got a brand that is active in the ever growing controller market. The SCS.4DJ has been quite rightly very well received, and one can only speculate that it's the start of a new era for the Stanton brand.

Something strange occurred to me about this deal - given that the turntable had consistently outsold guitar for years, there is a certain paradox in a guitar company buying a DJ brand. I would suspect that controllers are possibly in the place of turntables now, thus Gibson have made a canny purchase. And regardless of how DJ technology evolves, people will always need quality speakers.

Anyway, good luck to Gibson. Welcome to the DJ industry.

NOTE: No further comments are being accepted.
20 comments to this story

On December 6, 2011, Glork! said this:
So is Fender gonna buy Numark now?

On December 6, 2011, AUDIO1 said this:
Guitar shaped DJ Controllers. Good acquisition!

On December 6, 2011, lupzdut said this:
This is definitely good news!

On December 6, 2011, WillBlaze said this:
You will be able to control a DVS with a guitar. Don't laugh, it would be crazy.

On December 6, 2011, filespnr said this:
Does this mean no corporate jet rides to Montenegro for me?

On December 6, 2011, Gay Zombie said this:
The owner in this case doesn't mean much as far as direction (you won't see turntables shaped like guitars). What matters here is the money and the owner's knowledge of musicians. You have a company funding them now that actually knows music and has more money than god. Stanton, KRK and Cerwin Vega just got a serious shot in the arm with cash-colored steroids and a leader that is known to be out for blood when he wants an industry.

I'm already popping my popcorn to watch how this plays out.

On December 6, 2011, qfour20 said this:
Speaking of guitar shaped turntables, Vestax beat them to the punch quite a while ago:

I see several different directions that this can take, all of them end up good for Stanton and Gibson. Gay Zombie's comment about turntables is closer to the mark than just applying to controllers. The mighty Technics is dead. Gibson has sat at NAMM for years watching the DJ market grow year on year. They are used to being at the top of the market with their products aped by their competitors. Entry into the DJ market prior to Matushita pulling the plug on the 1200 (whose patents should have all expired by now, incidentally) would mean an uphill fight against the accidental champion of DJ products.

For the short term, people perform using a DVS quite often. At least, that's what I see where I'm at... They're going to need turntables once the current crop of Techs start to age. There are currently two top contenders would be the TTX and the STR8150. Of the two, the Stanton deck seems better suited for club installation as a 1200 replacement (longevity). On top of that, the company that makes it was UP FOR SALE at the time and the group that Gibson purchased is more focused.

In addition to taking the throne from the 1200 as the "standard", I expect to see recording equipment built from Stanton's parts bin and expertise. It allows Gibson to bridge the gap between current customers and the new capabilities that Stanton's know how brings to the table. Couple this with high quality monitors from KRK and Gibson now has a horse in the race from hand to finished audio recording for existing customers, while still having Stanton's core business ongoing.

I do wonder what they will do with Cerwin Vega, though. I don't think it has the appeal as a higher end brand that Gibson really wants for the consumer audio side. Maybe they will focus more on CV's PA speaker systems?

Definitely something to keep an eye on, and I'm happy that Stanton was bought by somebody with deep pockets. Now I just hope they take the scs.1d and make it compete with the V7.


On December 6, 2011, Kevin Dement said this:
I hope Fender buys the rights to 1200's from Technics/Panasonic. blink1.gif

On December 6, 2011, Loudist said this:
Anyone who knows anything about Gibson's quality control in the last 10 years or so will tell you this is definitely NOT a positive move for Stanton. This story tells you more about the staggeringly poor state of the industry right now than it does about any potential bright future it might have. Gibson may be a prestige marque, but that's about it.

On December 6, 2011, GroovinDJ said this:
Perhaps now we'll see a "big boys" controller. Two motorised platters (from the SCS.1D) between a standalone mixer with a screen and dedicated OS (SCS.4DJ).

Like a standalone version of the NS7 with two S3700s built in....

Well I can dream.

On December 6, 2011, blondepiano said this:

On December 6, 2011, hombre said this:
what Loudist is so true... gibson is a good brand PERIOD... working together with them is a pain... i wish stanton good luck for the future

On December 6, 2011, mace said this:
"You have a company funding them now that actually knows music and has more money than god"...

Hmm, not sure about that (the money part). They do of course make some great guitars and know the MI business. Gibson have been in financial difficulties for some time. They are also in the middle of some expensive court battles accused of sourcing and using illegal wood.

Will be interesting to see how this pans out.

On December 6, 2011, Dj Cesar said this:
DJ’s have the funniest humor when it comes to DJ products. Just because a Guitar company bought a DJ manufacturing company doesn’t mean they will be make turntable guitars or pick needles. It was like when BOSCH owned MIDAS BOARDS and then Behringer bought them. Bosch was only able to fund them small amount money every year budget wise. But then Behringer bought them and they gave them a BIG budget to invent and come out with new technology in mixers. Something Bosch couldn’t do or wouldn’t do. So maybe Gibson is going to revise Stanton and bring them back to when they were making mixer as or better than Vestax or Numark. As for Cerwin-Vega they are still the leading big, heavy. Bad sound speaker company out there. Maybe Gibson need some technology that KRK, Stanton or Cerwin-Vegas has and they want to make a new guitar or something. Hum…

On December 6, 2011, proxy said this:
I don't know how good this is for Stanton. Anyone here old enough to remember when Gibson bought Oberheim or even Opcode? They totally killed both of those companies.

On December 6, 2011, DJ Squared said this:
Hopefully this will mean that Cerwin Vega will have a refocused agenda that brings them back to prominence in the pro audio world. It would be nice to watch them try to pull off what JBL has done by staying relevant in both the consumer audio and pro audio worlds. Cerwin Vega is probably one of the few other companies that could do it. If Gibson invest in them to beef up their pro audio powered line of speakers to JBL, EV and QSC levels they could really get back into the pro audio discussions.

As far as Stanton is concerned, I love that they are so innovative, but that innovation has cost them. Sad to say that they may be too far out in front of everybody. They need to make a controller for Traktor/VDJ and Serato Itch/Intro. The software wars are heated and these are your contenders (unless someone can manage to break through which is unlikely). People want to be able to use familiar platforms, not proprietary ones that are only available on certain hardware (well its working for mac...maybe they have something). I love the idea of the computer in the box...but if that box was able to run the DVS of your choice as opposed to the proprietary one then I think they would have a massive hit on their hands. Thats the direction Stanton needs to go.

Hopefully Gibson's management and leadership teams can make this happen.

On December 7, 2011, DJ STU-C said this:
i think gizmo needs to dig out the article he did about the kid scratching on that toy guitar, seems relevant to mesmile.gif

On December 8, 2011, Orthoplex said this:
Didn't I read about this a while ago on This is old news by now in Internet years!

Anyway, the whole notion about turntables outselling guitars was only for a very brief period before the DJ MIDI controller explosion. DVS sales, and ultimately turntables, have taken quite a hit lately and that's why you've been witnessing several key product discontinuations.

As far as Stanton being an innovative company, I have to take exception to that notion. They attempted to be innovative, but many of their products, eh, ahem, SCS.1, just didn't work. Buggy, plagued by the lame da router middleware...just ended up being an expensive piece of crap. The SCS.3 worked, but was really a toy, and is why its in consumer electronics shops instead of having a prominent place on music retail store shelves.

I wonder how that all-in-one DJ software/controller solution they recently debuted is doing in the market?

And remember folks what Gibson did to Opcode and Oberheim?

On December 9, 2011, Mike PXF said this:
Damn, bad news.......... Gibson have a habit of purchasing brands and then closing them down soon after.................
Hope it works out, however its rather worrying.

On January 19, 2012, halfasemitone said this:
Mike PXF is right. We have to stop looking at this as DJ news and only general musical instrument news. It's about moving product whether it'd be needles or corn chips. Why do you think Yamaha has their hand in everything? Gibson will take the IP portfolio for who knows what. Gibson will run their business like a business.

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